You know, there are people who think, rightly so, that you should be free to live your life as you see fit. That your life is your own responsibility, and the harm you cause to yourself is up to you to deal with, and when you cause harm to others you should be responsible enough to make it right. Too bad Northbrook Village Board President Gene Marks (e-mail him here)isn't one of them, according to a story in the Northbrook Star.
Apparently, in his experience as a firefighter, the number of dead people in house fires he's seen has bothered him (as well it should, as it would anyone). Now, as a duly elected official (and newly elected - his four year term runs til April 2009), he's gonna by gumption do something about it, namely require sprinkler systems in all new single family homes in Northbrook Village, Illinois. As some on Fark.com put it, now, when you burn the toast, instead of that annoying beeping, you get to haul the soaked contents of your home to the curb and buy new shit.
One other thing Gene Marks doesn't believe is that there are limits to what government can and should do. Board Trustee James Karagianis has it half right when he says, "Government should not intrude in every area of life, and this is one area that I think is intrusive." Actually, I would say government should intrude as little as possible into anything. Two other Trustees, Sandy Frum and Mike Scolaro, are wary fo the measure, but for the wrong reasons - they're concerned about the cost. In dollars, not in freedom lost.
Another Trustee, one Julius Kole (address 4036 Linderwood Lane, Northbrook, IL 60062, Phone: 847-498-0669, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org - all public info from the Northbrook web site), actually said, "I think there comes a point that you have to force some things down people's throats." (emphasis mine) Do the residents of Northbrook Village realize what this guy is saying? If you're living your life in such a way that seems to be wrong to the Board, they'll force the right thing down your throats. Got an old tree in your front yard that drop leaves on the road in the fall causing a hazardous driving condition? Cut it down! Got a leaky faucet that wasting a hundred gallons of water a year? New plumbing mandated! Got a leaky ring in your engine, causing it to smoke when it's cold? Fine and fix! It's all for your own good, you know... Quite frankly, elect these petty little Nazis out ASAP. If there's an impeachment process, do it, and do it now. It can only get worse.
Seriously, folks, if a random person off the street tried to force this crap on you, you'd be well justified in telling them to stuff themselves. If a company tried to handle you this way, you'd be justified in filing a lawsuit and spreading so much bad publicity for them they'd pay you to shut up. But when government does this, what recourse do you have? Move? Vote? Neither do much good - busy-bodies who want to be paid from the public dole are everywhere. Write letters? All I ever get in return from my Congressperson are form letters (mail and e-mail) when I'm in agreement with them, nothing when I'm not (actually, only one Senator even acknowledges my letters to her - the junior Senator and the old Rep seemingly never hear anything). Run for office yourself? You lie down with the dogs, you wake up with fleas - I personally don't trust anyone who wants a public position.
The Founding Fathers held a revolution over less than this...